Archive | February, 2018

Guiding Children’s Behaviour

25 Feb

“The most important thing parents can give their children is love. The second most important thing is discipline” – T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.

Kids need guidelines and boundaries – clearly defined limitations to feel safe secure and loved.

Delivered with love and warmth, these limits give kids a safe space to grow

No doubt time and again they will throw a fit, push boundaries …..that’s what they are supposed to do as they develop their sense of self; So allow them that freedom to develop, grow but stick to the limits you’ve decided on, with love and firmness coz that’s what they want you to do.

Limits provide a framework so your child understands what is expected out of him and helps him make better decisions.

They learn patience, empathy, being responsible, understanding their own needs and respecting the needs of another.

Make sure the boundaries you set are not coming from an angry place instead they are set so your child can learn something valuable about himself or the world around.

When setting boundaries keep in mind the following –

Is it Necessary in the particular context?

Ask yourself if the boundary is age appropriate. Would it really matter if it isn’t followed? Is it worth an argument? Can I enforce it?  Are my expectations realistic?

Set Boundaries and follow through

Sometimes after a hard days work you don’t have the patience to be calm or get into any discussion; in fact you’d rather just let him have his way….. But Hang in there. Your kids need to know that when you say something, you mean it. They need to know that they can count on you to keep your word.

Have few rules.

Its more effective to have few rules that are reasonable, consistent and respected always, rather than many rules with haphazard compliance.

Acknowledge the positive

Appreciate and encourage children when they have stuck to the rules. As important as it is to be consistent with the consequences when kids overstep the boundaries; it is also important to pay attention and recognize their good choices.

Discuss Expectations

Have family meetings where expectations and consequences are discussed clearly. Vague and inconsistent limits have kids floundering; while rigid and unreasonable expectations are usually met with hostility. When limits are reasonable and developed from a place of love kids learn to operate within safe and socially accepted limits.

As kids grow boundaries could be stretched. Parents who do this in collaboration with their children so that the kids know why decisions are made find it easier to establish these limits without too much rebellion.

As boundaries are being pushed and frustrations run high, stay connected with your child emotionally; Empathize with her feelings of helplessness so the message being conveyed is – The limits I set may upset you but I care about your wellbeing and will always be here for you.

At times the arguments around the limits set become more like a power struggle – The youngster refuses to comply and parents wont budge from their stand. The entire focus   then becomes – ‘who is in charge here?’ Such situations are best avoided. At times like this its best for the parent to be an adult –  Listen to your childs request and see if you can find a middle ground.

It may be difficult to think of reasonable consequences if and when boundaries are not respected. Talk to other parents about boundaries and consequences they use or express your concerns to a counsellor.

Boundaries are all about freedom and responsibility. It gives us a framework in which we negotiate life events, which then helps us and our children with personal growth.

Boundaries simplify life.


Care for You, By You

8 Feb

Be you, Love you, All ways, Always

Alexandra Elle

The Stress of city life – The hubbub, the noise, the competition, the frustrations, balancing relationships, are all reasons enough for day to day life to be taxing.

The daily travails of dodging traffic, negotiating crowded sidewalks, dealing with the demands of family life, juggling heavy workloads, attending to the alerts on our smartphones can leave us feeling super stressed.

One way to loosen the grip that stress has on us is by practicing Self Care.

Self Care is all about refueling yourself; Paying attention to your needs.

Its like the oxygen mask that airline officials require you to wear first before helping a co-passenger.

Many equate self care with pampering oneself; an indulgence for people with time and money. They look at it as a luxury that doesn’t agree with them and so write it off.

Self Care is much larger than pampering oneself – Its about sensing our inner needs and taking action to get these needs met so that we find more joy and purpose in our lives.

Many of us are not used to paying attention to our inner states. We deliberately ignore what we are actually feeling and tune ourselves to feeling what we are ‘supposed’ to feel. Self sacrifice is revered in our culture and attending to our needs is sometimes construed as being selfish or lazy. To avoid being labelled any of these we ignore the desperate pleas from our inner core, continue to ‘manage it all’ and as a result are persistently overwhelmed.

Its time we rethink how we define self care – I would call it an active powerful choice to purposefully engage in activities that are required to maintain optimal physical and mental health

It all begins with being aware of what we do daily and how it makes us feel.

When the demands made on our time, energy and emotions are more than we can handle that’s when its vital to infuse self care into our daily lives.

A few activities you could do are

  1. Sit by the seaside or in the park and watch the waves or watch children play
  2. Make one change in your diet……Eat an extra helping of veggies/avoid sugar
  3. Listen to music you enjoy…….Create a playlist
  4. Take a warm shower.
  5. Get enough sleep
  6. Create a ‘No’ list…. [ No checking emails/Instagram between 12 and 4 pm etc]
  7. Follow up with medical care …. Do not put off check ups
  8. Spend time with loved ones. Call them if physically meeting them is not possible.
  9. Do at least one relaxing activity every day
  10. Do one thing that makes you happy
  11. Spend a few minutes oxygenating your body……take deep breathes; puff out your abdomen and slowly breath out
  12. Help someone……open the elevator door for someone, give your seat to a standing commuter.
  13. Journal- write out your feelings
  14. Laugh ……watch a funny video
  15. Light a scented candle in your room

These are a few suggestions; Over time you will figure your own rhythm, routine and understand what works for you.

What’s important to know is that Self Care is a daily practice, not a once in a while splurge.

Paying attention to your needs is a skill you need to sharpen especially since it’s the only way to refocus and come back to daily living refreshed and in a happier state of mind.